Hendrik Willem Mesdag (1831 - 1915), 1880
oil on canvas,
32 cm x 230 cm
The Mesdag Collection, The Hague
Mesdag made various preparatory studies for his large panorama of the dunes of Scheveningen. At the beach he would take notes and make drawings in a sketchbook. He described the colours, the light, and the current weather conditions. For instance, he noted: ‘the tonality of the sea is a slate grey.’
In order to try out the colours and light effects in oil paint, Mesdag painted this study in the spring of 1880. He also had photographs taken from his vantage point on the Seinpost Dune to ensure an accurate rendering of the perspective. He completed the Panorama of Scheveningen a little more than a year later, and it was opened to the public in the summer of 1881.